Niki Werkheiser serves as the Director for Technology Maturation in the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters, where she leads the advancement of mid-TRL technologies for future space missions. The Technology Maturation portfolio includes more than 100 projects within the Game Changing Development (GCD) Program and the Lunar Surface Innovation Initiative (LSII). These ambitious projects are executed across eight NASA Centers and with dozens of industry and academic partners.
Prior to her current role, Niki led the Agency’s In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) efforts, including the development of novel, on-demand manufacturing, repair, and recycling capabilities which have been demonstrated on the International Space Station (ISS) and directly feed forward to NASA’s Exploration missions.
Ms. Werkheiser has over 25 years of experience developing and flying new technologies in space and a proven approach for managing complex projects and programs. She is particularly passionate about creating novel competitive programs and partnerships across the government, industry, and academia.
She has received numerous awards, including NASA's Silver Snoopy and Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the American Astronautical Society Space Technology Award.
Ms. Werkheiser holds a Master of Science Degree from the University of Alabama at Huntsville with an emphasis in Gravitational and Space Biology, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Language and Studies.
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